Interview with Brother Richard Daly

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Table of Contents 
  •  Work with farmer unions and bishops
  •  Watch Video 1, Video 3 of "Interview with Brother Richard Daly." 
  •  [TAPE TWO BEGINS] RICHARD DALY: -- in the Valley, from Brownsville, he worked in the Brownsville Diocese and worked closely with the farm workers down there. And that was not easy because there were competing farm worker unions at the time. There was the United Farm Workers, Cesar Chavez's group, and then there was a group called the Texas Farm Workers and they didn't get along. And the Diocese often tried to be the mediator between them. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: One of the privileges of doing all that was that they would have a convention every year and César Chávez would come to us. I am pleased to say that I was able to meet the man who I think was a saint. 
  •  CRAFTS: What was that like? Can you talk about meeting him? 
  •  RICHARD DALY: Well I have got a picture of actually, we were in a meeting. He was just a very kind, soft spoken, gentle man. It was hard—this was not a firebrand labor leader, at least the times I was in his presence, was only two or three times. He was just a very gentle man. And I have got a picture I can show you in my office. He was talking to a group of us. And it's just, I just remember he was just—these people really need your help and you know—That was great. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: There was a priest, there was a bishop who is now the Archbishop of Santa Fe named Michael Sheehan. He was bishop of Lubbock for a while. He would be one of those that was a — 
  •  RICHARD DALY: Bishop Michael Pfeifer of San Angelo would certainly be in that category. To greater or lesser extent they were all, every bishop that I worked with was interested in Catholic social teaching. Even if they were really conservative doctrinally, they tended to be pretty liberal socially. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: And a good example is the bishop; he just retired as Bishop of Amarillo and has been a friend of mine for years. I knew him many years before he was a bishop, named John Yanta. Bishop Yanta doctrinally is very conservative, but he was one of the founders of COPS in San Antonio, Communities Organized for Public Service. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: So he was a social liberal and a doctrinal conservative, which is fine. He would have agreed with these bishops who say the Catholic politicians who are pro-choice shouldn't partake in the sacraments, something I totally disagree with. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: But he also was strong proponent of poor people and worked at it. When COPS, this is a part of—in Austin we call it Austin Interfaith. It is the Industrial Area Foundations Network around. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: Well when they started COPS back whenever it was, in the seventies, that was not real popular. These uppity priests standing up for these Hispanics and African-Americans in San Antonio, that wasn't— the power structure in San Antonio was not the people on the Westside of San Antonio, which is where COPS got started in a seven-parish coalition. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: So. Golly. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: Archbishop Flores, the man was my boss for twenty-seven years. Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores who was a farm worker himself as a kid from Ganado, Texas. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: Archbishop Furey [. . withheld], he was the person who appointed me executive director in nineteen seventy-nine and then he died shortly thereafter. So for almost the entire time I was director, my boss was the archbishop. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: My main boss, all the bishops were my bosses, but the main boss was the Archbishop Patricio Flores, and just a marvelous human being and a great social conscience person. I'll tell you another anecdote. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: When Leroy Matthiesen was installed as Bishop of Amarillo, the archbishop was the person who did that and typically we'd all go up to the—We were up in Amarillo. This was one of the first bishops that Archbishop Flores was installing as the new diocesan bishop in Amarillo. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: And Archbishop Flores said, "You know this is the first time I've been back to the Panhandle since I was a kid and we were farm, my family—my parents and I came up here to pick," whatever it was, "we were migrant farm workers." And he said, "I want to tell you something. I'm getting treated a lot better this time." 
  •  RICHARD DALY: His health is real bad now. There is a guy—jail and prison ministry was a major agenda item for him. He would go to jail and prisons regularly. And he was especially—I mean he probably went hundreds and hundreds of times, as did a lot of the other bishops. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: But Archbishop Flores was especially concerned about children in the criminal justice system. And he had, he loved to raise money and buy guitars for kids who were in trouble. Because he was convinced— 
  •  RICHARD DALY: He himself was a singer a musician. As a kid he was in a group, he loved to sing, and he was good. He was convinced that if you could divert these kids, if you could get them interested in music, Hispanic kids, get them interested in music and their culture and singing that— 
  •  RICHARD DALY: So he was always, he was forever dunning everybody in the world to buy guitars for kids in trouble. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: Another interesting bishop, he's now the bishop of Corpus Christi, his name is Edmond Carmody. He's retiring this year; he's reached seventy-five. He's submitted his resignation. But he was bishop up in Tyler, Texas. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: And he was asked by an inmate, and I don't know what the relationship was, but a man on Death Row, if he would accompany him, if Bishop Carmody would accompany this man on Death Row who is being executed. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: And it had a profound impact on Bishop Carmody. I believe he's written about it. I certainly have had conversations; I've been in groups where he's talked about it. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: It was a powerful experience in his life and I think he continued to do a lot of prison visitations as the bishop of Tyler, East Texas. Lots of places to do prison visitations. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: When I started this all of the prisons were in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. They were all within twenty miles of Huntsville. 
  •  RICHARD DALY: And one of the issues that came up of course over the years was when they wanted to put these prisons in other places the initial reaction from the locals was "not in my backyard." We don't want these terrible things in our backyard, these prisons." 
  •  RICHARD DALY: And then they started to realize that these were economic windfalls. So they went from being NIMBY to being, "please come and locate as many prisons as you want in our town," be it Giddings or wherever. 
  •  HINZ-FOLEY: Can we stop real fast - 
  •  RICHARD DALY: Sure 
  •  HINZ-FOLEY: —to change the tape? 
  •  CRAFTS: Yeah. 
  •  HINZ-FOLEY: All right. [TAPE TWO ENDS] 
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Title:Interview with Brother Richard Daly
Abstract:Brother Richard Daly went to work for the Texas Catholic Conference, the legislative advocacy group representing Catholic bishops, in 1974. In Video 1, Brother Daly talks about his work against the death penalty and for prison reform, work largely inspired by Pauline and Charlie Sullivan who founded Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE). By the end of the 1970s, the Catholic bishops of Texas came out against the death penalty and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (now the National Conference of Bishops) publized a statement against the death penalty shortly thereafter. Brother Daly also describes his visits to Death Row, prison ministries, Father, and later Bishop, McCarthy, and the legislative positions of the Texas Catholic Conference. In Video 2, Brother Daly describes the organizing and activism by the United Farm Workers (UFW) and the Texas Farm Workers Union (TFWU), César Chávez, and human rights-oriented priests and bishops, most especially that of late Archbishop Patricio Flores of San Antonio. In Video 3, Brother Daly returns to a discussion about the death penalty; shares his admiration for the late Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago Joseph Bernadin; and discusses contradictions with the Catholic Church, including the Church's relationship to a variety of social justice issues. This interview took place on May 1, 2009 at St. Edward's University in Austin, Travis County, Texas.
Sequence:2 of 3
  • Richard DalyRole: Narrator
  • Texas After Violence ProjectRole: Collaborator
  • Lydia CraftsRole: Interviewer
  • Sabina Hinz-FoleyRole: Videographer
  • Emmanuel TomesRole: Transcriber
  • Virginia Marie RaymondRole: Transcriber
  • Virginia Marie RaymondRole: Proofreader
  • Maurice ChammahRole: Proofreader
Date Created:2009/05/01
Geographic Focus:North America--United States--Texas
Geographic Base:North America--United States--Texas--Austin
Type of Resource:Moving image
    This electronic resource is made available by the University of Texas Libraries solely for the purposes of research, teaching and private study. All intellectual property rights are retained by the legal copyright holders. The University of Texas does not hold the copyright to the content of this file. Formal permission to reuse or republish this content must be obtained from the copyright holder.

Source Metadata

Analog/Digital Flag:physDigital
Carrier Number:2 of 3
Signal Format:NTSC



Continues with Video 3 of the TAVP Interview with Brother Richard Daly

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